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4:12pm on Monday, 23rd July, 2018:



Bellagio reminds me of Venice, in that it's very picturesque but you run out of things to do after 3 or 4 days.

Partly to avoid bumping yet again into 1980s pop star Paul Young, who is staying in our hotel and kept appearing in the backgroud of our photos, we decided to revisit Varenna or Verona or whatever the place is called. This time, we went to the botanical gardens, half of which are owed by the Cypress Hotel and half of which are owned by the Villa Monastero. The hotel half is much better. We used the opportunity to take some slightly different photos to the ones we've been taking from Bellagio that all look the same.

After exploring the gardens, we were intending to return to Bellagio but one of the ferries had broken. Instead, we went over to Menaggio or Womenaggio or somesuch, which was much the same as before except this time its one pretty part wasn't disfigured by a TV camera setup. We looked around in vain for something to buy, but it was the same as in Bellagio: silk, the local product, is available in vast quantities but only in the form of scraves and ties. If you want a silk shirt or similar, you can forget it.

The journey back to Bellagio was unusual. Because there was a broken ferry, a replacement was pressed into service It was the special steam ferry they normally only use on Sunday. It has huge pistons open to view and is propelled by circular paddles. It was built in the 1920s, and was better in every way to the more modern ferries. We really liked it, although I don't suppose the person shovelling coal into the boiler enjoyed the ride quite as much.

Paul Young wasn't wearing his hat. I guess he left it at home.

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